Elderly persons in Finland

Ikäihmisille Suomessa
This page contains information on home care, informal care, housing services and in-patient care, service vouchers and discounts and allowances for pensioners in Finland.

Persons moving to Finland from another Nordic country are entitled to the following benefits and services if they are registered as living permanently in the population register, i.e. their municipality of residence is in Finland. The municipality also assesses service needs. You can see more on population registration on the page Notifying a move and population registration in Finland.

There is also more information on the Info Norden pages on chronic illness, medicines and reimbursement for medicine expenses, falling ill and health care as well as on pensions in Finland.

Home care

Support for coping at home is provided in the form of home services and home health care services. Under the Social Welfare Act in non-urgent cases all persons aged 75 or over are entitled to an assessment of their need for social services within a specified period. Contact the elderly care unit in your municipality of residence on the website of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities.

The following are available:

  • Services in the home (assistance with everyday chores)
  • Home health care (health care and rehabilitation at home with a doctor’s referral)
  • Support services (for example meal, cleaning, shopping, safety and transport services)

Informal care

Informal care means nursing and care that is provided in the home by a carer who is a family member or other person close to the person being cared for who has made a family care agreement with the municipality. You can get support for family care from the social services office in the municipality of residence of the person being cared for. Support for informal care is an entity which consists of services to the care receiver and care allowance and support services to the carer. The care allowance is taxable income. Support for informal care is prescribed in the Social Code.

You can also get more information on informal care from Carers Finland.

Housing services and in-patient care

Housing services are designed for people who for various reasons need support and services to arrange their housing. You can get information on housing services in your own area of residence from the social services office in your municipality.

Supported and service housing

Supported and service housing are available for persons who need more support with housing than can be provided in an ordinary home. Intensive service housing is provided for persons who need a lot of help, care and supervision. Residents in intensified service housing units have their own room or flat and there are also shared spaces. In intensified service housing the staff are on hand 24 hours a day.

In service and supported housing residents pay their health care costs, medicines, clothes, transport costs and other personal expenditure, and rent, themselves. The amount charged depends on the services and residents’ ability to pay.

Institutional care

Long-term care for elderly persons can be provided in an institution if there are medical reasons or if necessary to make care safe. Persons in long-term institutional care pay a monthly care fee depending on their ability to pay. The fees charged depend on the person’s pension and other income.

Short-term institutional care can be provided for elderly people to help them and their family carer to cope at home. This also helps to prevent the need for permanent institutional care. Short-term spells of care can be alternated regularly with living at home or they can be sporadic. As well as care, institutional care also includes meals, medicines, clothes and other care.

An assessment is made before admission to institutional care. First of all contact your own doctor. Depending on your municipality you may have to go on a waiting list for a place in an institution.

Allowances, discounts and pensioners’ passes

There are various discounts for pensioners, for example for rail and bus travel and for sporting and cultural services. To get the discount, present your identity card or pensioner’s pass. More information is available on Kela’s website.

Pensioners on low incomes can get housing allowance for pensioners from Kela. Kela can also subsidise travel costs arising from medical care.

You can also read more information on reimbursement for medicine expenses.

Service vouchers

You can use service vouchers to purchase social services and health care from private service providers that municipalities are required to provide for their residents. You can get vouchers e.g. from the health station in your municipality of residence or the social services office. You can find more information on service vouchers on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Ask Info Norden

If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.

NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.